The AOB consists of three members who work together in a collegial way. They are elected for a term of six years by the Austrian Parliament (National Council) and can be re-elected once. The members of the AOB are independent in the performance of their duties. They cannot be voted out, recalled or removed from office. The ombudspersons are sworn in by the Federal President.
The members of the AOB must be eligible for the National Council and must have knowledge in the fields of the organisation and functioning of administration. As the AOB also monitors and controls the compliance with human rights standards, the members must have relevant knowledge in this area as well.
Günther Kräuter, Gertrude Brinek and Peter Fichtenbauer were elected by the National Council for the term of office from July 2013 to June 2019. Gertrude Brinek was re-elected by the National Council for a second term in office. The Chair of the AOB rotates annually at the end of June. Currently, Günther Kräuter is holding this position.
Günther Kräuter is a Member of the Austrian Ombudsman Board since 1 July 2013. Being the Secretary General of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) he also commits himself to the fostering of democracy and the rule of law and the strengthening of Ombudsman institutions worldwide.
Ombudsman Günther Kräuter is responsible for social, nursing and health matters. At the federal level this includes health, pension and accident insurance as well as matters concerning labour-market administration and youth and family.
Ombudsman and IOI Secretary General Günther Kräuter was born on 30 December 1956 in Leoben (Styria/Austria). After completing his school education in Graz (Styria), he completed his military service and studied law. In 1985 Günther Kräuter obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Graz. Following the court traineeship Kräuter started his career as legal officer in the local public administration of Gratkorn (Styria).
He gained further experience and proved his solution-finding skills in constitutional and administrative questions while working in the office of a member of the Styrian provincial government, in the Styrian department for healthcare and managing one of the political parties represented in the provincial parliament (Landtag). From 1991 to 2013 Günther Kräuter was a Member of the Austrian Parliament (National Council). As parliamentary party spokesperson of the committee on the court of audit and chairman of his parliamentary party in enquiry committees Günther Kräuter was intensively involved in parliamentary control tasks. As deputy chairman of the committee on constitutional matters he additionally promoted citizens’, freedom and human rights.
Ombudsman Günther Kräuter
Telefon +43 / (0)1 / 515 05-111
Fax +43 / (0)1 / 515 05-160
Ombudswoman Gertrude Brinek was sworn in as an ombudswoman by the Federal President on 14 July 2008 and for a second term on 26 June 2013.
At the federal level, Brinek is responsible for taxes, fees, duties, the administration of the judiciary, public prosecution and preservation of cultural heritage sites. At the provincial level, Brinek monitors local governments and all communal matters (regional planning, building legislation, housing and settlement, regional and municipal roads) as well as cemetery administration and communal or municipal transport services.
Ombudswoman Gertrude Brinek was born on 4 February 1952 in Hollabrunn (Lower Austria). She completed her education at the Federal College of Education and the University of Vienna, where she obtained a doctorate in education, psychology, and art history. After teaching at Viennese elementary and secondary schools for ten years, Brinek moved her professional focus to the University of Vienna in 1983, where she ultimately was working as assistant professor at the Institute of Educational Science.
Gertrude Brinek was a Member of the Austrian Parliament (National Council) from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1994 to 2008, where she focused on science and education policy. She was sworn in as an ombudswoman by the Federal President on 14 July 2008 and for a second term on 26 June 2013.
Ombudswoman Gertrude Brinek
Telefon +43 / (0)1 / 515 05-131
Fax +43 / (0)1 / 515 05-170
Peter Fichtenbauer is a member of the Austrian Ombudsman Board since 1 July 2013. At the federal level, he is responsible for internal affairs (police law, law relating to aliens, legislation on asylum), national defence, agriculture, forestry and water management, nature conservation, trade, operational facilities and plant operating permits, nursery schools, schools and universities. At the provincial level, he monitors matters concerning traffic and agriculture as well as municipal taxes and levies.
Ombudsman Peter Fichtenbauer was born on 6 July 1946 in Alt-Dietmanns (Lower Austria). After he completed his school education in Waidhofen an der Thaya (Lower Austria), he did his military service. Peter Fichtenbauer obtained a degree in law from the University of Vienna in 1970. Following his legal clerkship, he worked as a trainee lawyer for four years. Since 1975 Peter Fichtenbauer has been practicing as a self-employed lawyer.
From 2006 to 2013 Peter Fichtenbauer was a Member of the Austrian Parliament (National Council) and Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the Freedom Party of Austria. In 2006 Fichtenbauer was a member of the Foundation Council of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation.
Ombudsman Dr. Peter Fichtenbauer
Telefon +43 / (0)1 / 515 05-121
Fax +43 / (0)1 / 515 05-180